The depressed runner…

Many people don’t understand why I run.  Especially people close to me.  Which is weird… because they’re supposed to be the people that know me the best, right?  Regardless, last night I ran… I ran hard.  It was my first “real” time hitting the pavement since Ragnar this past weekend (don’t worry, I’ll recap the shit out of that Relay when I have time to upload all of my pictures).

I spent most of my day at the office yesterday on the verge of tears, angry, bitter, in the office bathroom silently crying to myself.  Easy to say it wasn’t a good day.  So, I figured, as I usually do after TERRIBLE days, “I’ll run this out”.  (Let me preface this by saying… I took a NASTY fall on the first leg of Ragnar… NASTY!! Swollen, bloody knees, excessive shin pain, ankle pain… Just incredibly yucky, however I’d be able to walk with minimal limping, so I thought I could handle a small run… BOY was I mistaken…)  So I laced up my shoes, put on my SUPER cute “SweatPink” tank, and headed out the door.  I have a pretty mean hill right outside of my development so the thought popped into my head… “BRF is 5 weeks out, and it’s hilly as all get out, lets do hills!!”  (bad idea Stace)  I start running… HARD.  I’m not fast, at all, I never claim to be.  On hills, I’m slower then a turtle in molasses.  However, I ran my first mile of hill intervals in 9:26.  (not too bad!)  Especially when my most recent mile PR is 9:08.  Throwing hills in there??? NOT TO FUCKING SHABBY!! Anyway… around mile 1.75, I noticed a sharp pain I didn’t like… at all.  I thought I was going down… I looked at my phone and realized I was close to a mile marker and pushed even hard (thank God I was going down hill…)  I finished that mile at 9:20.  9:23 average on hills for 2 miles… I’ll take it.  What I WONT take is the EXCRUCIATING pain that followed… I barely made it back to my apartment.  I get to the door, hands shaking, get the key in, drop everything, get to the freezer and grab two large ice packs.  I make it to the front of the living room and my legs buckle… I’m on my knees.  (remember that fall I mentioned previously?? YEA THAT WAS FUCKING FUN!! *tears*)  I pulled myself back up and fell onto the couch.  Ice packs on both legs, tears streaming down my face, grabbing the couch for dear life (like its going to somehow help me), clenching my teeth so I don’t scream out in agony.

The first things running through my head:

  1. Stress fracture?
  2. What if I can’t run anymore?
  3. My marathon is 5 weeks away?
  4. Oh shit, I’m going to throw up
  5. I might pass out….
  7. I need water… and no one is here to help me
  8. I can’t stop crying long enough to pick up the phone….

I’ve felt pain… I have a high pain tolerance.  This wasn’t pussy “oh, I have a boo-boo” pain.  I thought I broke something.  I was petrified.  Running is my therapy.  I was speaking to someone recently who asked me why I run so much… I responded as honestly as I could; “Running saved my life”.   When you suffer from depression, you need an out… a way to escape (even if briefly) from the hell that you experience everyday.  (If you don’t have depression, or don’t understand depression, don’t comment or judge… you.don’ Running is my out.  If I lose it, I don’t know where to go from there.

As I lay, helpless on the couch, with my fears flashing before my eyes… I cried harder.  Oh yea, the pain was cruel… almost punishing… but the fear that I wouldn’t be able to run again was worse.  “What do I do now?” “Where do I go from here?”  After an hour of ice and elevation, I was about to stand without my legs buckling under me.  I slowly walked to my room and CAREFULLY applied compression sleeves to both of my legs.  I prayed. (not something I do enough, I’ll admit)  This morning, I’m walking.  It hurts, but I’m walking.

I know this post is WAY less perky then most of my posts, but it’s honest.  And if you know anything about me, I’m honest… especially about myself and my running.  I wont say that I hope you enjoyed the post, but I hope you read it and understand a little more about me because of it.


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